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Selling your soul.......

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by TRJ, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. TRJ

    TRJ New commenter

    For the past 8 years I have added resources to TES free of charge it is only recently I have decided to add some as a premium resource - these are mainly a type of resource I spend a long time designing and creating from scratch, some of which take 2 or 3 days to get right.

    I feely strongly that resources should be shared freely between teachers, so I feel really guilty when I ask for payment. The resources after all are to support and help young people learn and teachers can be hard up and not afford the couple of quid. I still add free resources, and know adding the odd premium resource will not be enough to retire on as I only get in a couple of quid a week, however does any other author feel the same? any advice to make me feel better?

    Also for those really with 50+, 100+ premium resources on average how many do you sell a week? I have noticed you can not see the number of times it has ben brought on premium downloads (for reasons I can imagine) and the only way of estimating it is by the reviews (which are hard to come by as it is).

  2. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I would also like to know how selling resources affects tax and tax credits, etc
  3. mathsmutt

    mathsmutt Star commenter

    Extracted from Thread "Author's Advice Anchor"

    Set yourself up as a self-employed trader or have a copyright agreement in your contract.
    • Notify the relevant authorities, including your LA.
    • Create resources in your own time with your own equipment and software.
    • Pay attention to pictures and other copyright issues.
    • Ensure the products are designed for general consumption and are not specifically designed for your own classroom.(unless agreement exists)
    • Observe legal requirements.


    At present, compulsory VAT registration is only a requirement if your turn over is more than £83,000.

    Income Tax:
    You can, of course, claim legitimate expenses as part of your tutoring business if you are registered with HMRC https://www.gov.uk/new-business-register-for-tax , but you would have to keep records and expect to complete a tax return.
    Otherwise, you inform HMRC about how much you have earned and they change your tax code accordingly..
  4. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    thank you for taking the time to clarify, mathsmutt
    cate_h and mathsmutt like this.
  5. mathsmutt

    mathsmutt Star commenter

    Welcome to the forum.:)
    Many authors here combine free and paid for resources as part of their legitimate business, so don't feel guilty.
    mrajlong and emjcot like this.
  6. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    I volunteer my time every week to work with young people. I don't feel that teachers should work for free because I choose to give my time freely.

    If you don't feel comfortable selling your resources... don't.

    Good luck whatever you decide.
    mrajlong and mathsmutt like this.
  7. MissHallEnglish

    MissHallEnglish Occasional commenter Forum guide and community helper

    I'm a bronze author. I make at least two sales every day. I also upload for free. The premium resources are the ones I consider my best - 'pick up at teach' resources.

    There are lots of resources that I feel are overpriced, lack quality or detailed content. However, I've also bought some really fabulous resources.

    Decide what it is you want to upload and produce quality. TES encourage premium authors to upload so many resources to be in with winning a competition or to feature in a blog etc: personally I don't think it encourages good quality resources.

    If you do make the jump to premium, follow all the guidelines: so many premium authors are either using content that is not their own or using images that are prohibited, that it gives the vast majority of excellent authors a bad rep!

    Happy decision making.
  8. studeapps

    studeapps New commenter

    If you feel any type of work is selling your soul, please do not do it.
  9. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    I do not see a problem with making and selling resources to teachers. I have recently retired. When I was teaching I used free resources but often had to do quite a bit of work to them to make them appropriate for my pupils as I taught in a school with pupils of varying degrees of autism. At times, I had students who were capable of taking GCSEs with students who did not speak or write in the same class!

    I enjoyed making resources when I was teaching but never really had enough time to make them as good as I really wanted them. The resources I bought from established educational publishers were not brilliant either. I sometimes can spend weeks and weeks on a resource. I would not do this for free tho'!!

    I feel that TES authors, as teachers, can, and do, make excellent resources which can be personalised. TES authors are also able to make current affairs resources very quickly, unlike conventional publishers which are often outdated before they get to print.

    I do agree with you about teachers not having to pay out of their own pocket for the resources. I would hope that teachers have some sort of system whereby they can claim these expenses back from the school.

    Having said that, teachers do not have to buy the resources. There are plenty of free resources both on this site and elsewhere.

    I took early retirement to support older and younger family members. The income I get from TES helps to supplement my pension which is not enough to live on. I began producing resources in August 2015 and am now a 'gold author'. My income is growing as I add more resources. I also like the fact that, although I am no longer directly engaged in teaching, I can still have some impact on young people and their education and utilise my knowledge and experience. I am also doing a great deal of learning.

    However, if you feel that producing educational resources for payment is 'selling your soul', then do not do it!
    nick_redshaw, z1k, Alice K and 8 others like this.
  10. GoGoTeacherArms

    GoGoTeacherArms Occasional commenter

    I have a shop of 22 resources. Some days I sell nothing, other days I can sell half a dozen resources.

    I know most peeps don't tend to talk about money but I can make anything between £5 and £25 a week. I'm a sole trader and file my tax return every year.

    The way I see it is there is a wealth of free resources and a wealth of paid resources. No one forces anyone else to pay for resources. It is a free choice. I know that my resources are of the highest quality and worth every penny!

    Good luck!
  11. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    I've read the comments on this thread with interest.

    While I do understand the community spirit in sharing resources, I don't think anyone should feel like a pariah, much less be treated like one deciding to sell them, especially if they are of publishable quality and have taken a lot of time to create. Time is money, after all. If you submitted your works to a traditional publisher and they were accepted, they would appear for sale in shops and online, and noone would complain because you are used to buying books.

    The idea that things should be given or shared freely only seems to apply to education, and then only to schools. If a university professor writes a book that is the culmination of many hours of work, do people object if they then publish that work for sale? If you go to the vets do you expect your pet to be treated for free? I don't see anyone offering free hair-cuts either because they had to train to learn a skill and that skill then became their bread and butter.

    I just wanted to offer my opinion. If you feel uncomfortable selling here, where you might leave yourself open to judgement, maybe you should consider publishing elsewhere, in a medium that lends itself to paid products.
    nick_redshaw, TRJ, Charleei and 4 others like this.
  12. TRJ

    TRJ New commenter

    I do publish resources have been shocked to how successful they have been some resources have sold over x20 units in just over a week.
    nick_redshaw likes this.
  13. martinblake1

    martinblake1 New commenter

    My experience is that it polarised the staffroom. Some were appalled, others didn't see a problem. After some discussion, it became apparent that those who were appalled rarely posted new resources; in fact, one of my colleagues took great pride in hoarding everything they could find. My feeling is I'm charging for time, and I figure £1 for an hour of my hometime is a pretty good deal.
    nick_redshaw and Charleei like this.
  14. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    Quite so. Don't be afraid to charge for your products. If they are good enough to sell, and I'm sure they are, you should be selling them.

    As to the issue of cost, I don't really think teachers are so hard-up they can't afford to purchase resources, if they want them. I'll bet they can afford beer and wine and a subscription to Amazon Prime, along with a few other perks like online Bingo. I agree that the school should make funds available for purchase of such items, but that is unlikely to happen, especially if they think they are lining another teacher's pockets. It comes back to the 'share for free' thing I think. Having said that, they are quite willing to budget for sets of expensive text books. It makes you think.

    Now we come on to the moral issue - trainee teachers. Trainees might be strapped for cash and would like to use free resources. I can understand that. However, when I was doing my PGCE, it was long before Internet resource sharing, and frankly I made all my own stuff. It took me a long time, but I think I learned a lot more from it than I would have done just using someone else's work.

    Just my thoughts.
    nick_redshaw, martinblake1 and thinky like this.
  15. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    Exactly, and that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There is a LOT that can be done beyond the scope of TES if people really want to make money from their resources. This is a virtually untapped niche at the moment.
    martinblake1 likes this.
  16. TheGingerTeacher

    TheGingerTeacher Established commenter Forum guide and community helper

    This debate comes back again and again.... I'm hoping that eventually this will become so normal it stops being a debate.

    Change and new approaches are always complained about.... Women used to change their names to male names to get their books published, we have come so far, now it's just teachers who shouldn't be paid for their creative works.....

    (Yes I'm just teasing!)
    nick_redshaw and martinblake1 like this.

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